Tuesday, November 19, 2013

J.D. Steadman Dies At 71

James Daniel (J.D.) Steadman was born to Mary Holley Oswalt and James Henry Steadman, Jr. on November 8, 1942, and spent much of his childhood with his paternal grandparents in Melbourne, Florida. 

He dearly loved his Big Mama and Papa and credited them with his appreciation for the simple things in life. When they passed away, J.D. (then 12 years old) went to live with his Aunt Frances and Uncle Glen Neal. This meant a move to Clewiston, Florida - a town that he considered home until the day that he died on November 14, 2013.

J.D. attended Clewiston High School, but preferred work as a welder, metal fabricator, and mechanic in his uncle's shop and at Shawnee Farms. 

He married Patricia Ruth Owens (known by her initials 'PRO') on November 20, 1964, and by 1972, J.D. and Pro had five children. J.D. worked on the U.S. Sugar Corporation railroad and at the PMS machine shop for over 17 years. 

In addition, he operated J.D.'s wrecker service and machine shop, and welded for Hilliard Brothers and others. 

In the early 1980s, J.D. received a commercial haul seine permit for Lake Okeechobee and began his career as a commercial fishing captain, which he remained until the time of his death. J.D. often commented that, although smooth sailing was rare, he enjoyed the tranquility of the sunrise from aboard a boat on Lake Okeechobee.

J.D. loved to hunt - anything camouflage intrigued him like a fish drawn to a shiny lure. He enjoyed hunting dove and quail with his bird dogs, and in the 1970s and early 80s, when the Hendry County Hunting Area was open, his family could be found there nearly every weekend, along with the Owens, Belcher, Kelley, Jones, and Story families. 

J.D. also enjoyed salt-water fishing and scuba diving. Nonetheless, deer hunting was one of his passions, and he would travel to Alabama and Mississippi each year to deer hunt while visiting with family. While in Clewiston, J.D. could usually be found getting his morning coffee, enjoying food and company at Dixie Fried Chicken, shopping at the pawn shop, tinkering with engines, or fishing in a canal somewhere.

While a Christian and a believer for most of his life, his faith was often tested. During his wife's battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, J.D. re-committed to his walk with the Lord while attending the Clewiston Church of God. He later joined the Pioneer Baptist Church and enjoyed the ministry of Pedro Cabrera and his church family.

J.D. was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters (Diane and Della), two brothers (Bob Jones and Buddy Oswalt), and his wife Patricia. In addition to four great grandchildren and 17 grandchildren, J.D. is survived by two sisters (Barbara and Mary Jo, of GA), a much-loved companion (Vicki Snow of Oakbrook in LaBelle, FL), six daughters (Elizabeth Boykin and Andrea Snow, both of Clewiston, FL; Julie Sexton (Kyle) of Starkville, MS; Lara Romero (Elmer) of Maryville, TN; and Catrena Steadman (Carl) of Bronson, FL), two sons (James "Jaybo" Steadman, Jr. (Penny) of Eufaula, AL; and Roger Snow of Northport, FL).

The family requests that donations made in his honor be sent to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. One of J.D.'s granddaughters (Jolene Sexton) has been treated for pediatric cancer there for over five years now. During a visit to St. Jude, J.D. remembered the heavenly cartoon published at Danny Thomas' (hospital founder) death titled "Make Room for Danny!" Based on the honest and humble life that J.D. lived and the trials that he prayerfully overcame, heaven should likely "Make Room for JD!" as well.

Visitation was held from 6-8 PM on 11/18/13 at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home. Services was held on Tuesday, 11/19/13 at 10:00 AM at the Clewiston Assembly of God church, with guest pastor Pedro Cabrera officiating. Friends and family attended a gathering in J.D.'s honor at the Pioneer Community Center, after burial services were complete.

No comments:

Post a Comment